Smarter, cleaner and more sophisticated, this improved version of Audi’s second generation A5 Sportback is an even classier proposition than it already was. As before, there’s coupe styling married to a couple of rear passenger doors and hatchback practicality, plus this updated design gets a more luxurious interior and cutting-edge technology.
Model History & Overview
The premium mid-sized executive saloon or estate is a crowded field – So what if all the same class, practicality and quality of a BWW 3 Series could be wrapped up with a slightly different, more individual package? That’s the thinking behind this car, Audi’s A5 Sportback. Here, we’ve got a much improved take on the second generation version.
The original MK1 model version of this design was launched back in 2009. Audi positioned it alongside the stylised two-door Coupe and Cabriolet bodystyles in the A5 line-up and called it a ‘five-door coupe’. Buyers liked the idea, familiar already with the idea of up-market coupes with two rear passenger doors thanks to the success of cars like the Mercedes CLS and the Volkswagen Passat CC.
As a result, the first generation A5 Sportback sold strongly and a second generation version followed in 2017, which was updated in early 2020 to create the model you can lease from Vanarama today.
Inside, this design uses Audi’s latest cabin architecture, with its 10.1-inch black panel central display and 12.3-inch ‘Virtual Cockpit’ display screen. Despite the coupe styling, there’s comfortable back seat room for two adults, plus a decently-sized 480-litre boot out back, extendable further to 1,300-litres by folding the split-rear bench.
There’s a choice of a couple of 2.0 TDI diesel units, starting with the 163PS powerplant found in the 35 TDI variant. Alternatively, the same engine is available in a 190PS state of tune in the 40 TDI derivative, a model available in either front-driven form or with quattro four wheel drive.
Alternatively, there are a couple of 2.0-litre TFSI turbo petrol variants, either the 190PS 40 TFSI model, which is front-driven. Or the 245PS 45 TFSI variant, which has to be had with quattro 4WD. If you need to go faster, there are two sporting four wheel drive derivatives. Either the S5 TDI variant, which uses a 3.0-litre six cylinder diesel with 347PS. Or the RS 5 Sportback, which uses a 3.0-litre six cylinder TFSI petrol engine putting out a potent 450PS.
This car’s toughest competitor is probably the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, but if you could broaden your search for an executive mid-sized ‘Gran Turismo’ four-door coupe-style, you could also consider cars like the Kia Stinger, the Peugeot 508 Fastback, the Volkswagen Arteon.
In summary, this is exactly what Ingolstadt promised, an ‘intelligent evolution’ of a car that stacks up on paper and at last can more credibly manage to seat up to five people. It’s all enough to make this A5 Sportback a hard option to ignore if you fit its target market. For a relatively small premium over an A4, it delivers for you a more stylish yet still pretty practical package.